Cicadetta, Cicadas, Insect, True bugs, Auchenorrhyncha
Rare sight new forest cicada cicadetta montana 3of4
Cicadetta montana (also New Forest cicada) is a species of Cicadetta found throughout Europe and in parts of Asia.
- Rare sight new forest cicada cicadetta montana 3of4
- Rare sight new forest cicada cicadetta montana 1of4
- Food plants
- Taxonomic history
- New Forest cicada project
The adult females inject their eggs into the stems of food plants, and when the larvae emerge, they burrow underground and as nymphs feed on root sap. These underground cycles may last many years, differing for each species.
Females have a body measuring about 50 mm in length, with the males being much smaller. It has transparent wings with prominent veins, folded over the back when at rest, and a dark slate-grey or black body with dull orange rings around the abdomen. The legs are marked with dull orange as are the leading edges of the wings (costae).
As with all cicadas, the males produce the shrill, buzzing calls by rapidly flexing drumhead-like membranes, while the females are limited to producing clicks. The call of C montana sounds like static hiss to the unaided human ear and is sustained with relatively short lulls at irregular intervals. Their shrilling was venerated by the ancient Greeks, but detested by Virgil.
Rare sight new forest cicada cicadetta montana 1of4
In 1772, Scopoli described and named the type specimen from Slovenia as Melampsalta montana, and this was later changed to Cicadetta montana. It has turned out to be not a single taxon, but a complex of closely related species distinguishable by their songs. Using this method of differentiation, at least 10 species have been separated from the complex. Classification by calls has led to three main groups being proposed which largely correspond with the clades suggested by DNA analyses – one new species not fitting in the proposed scheme.
New Forest cicada project
C. montana has not been seen or heard anywhere in Britain since 2000. In 2013, in an attempt to locate remaining specimens, developers have written application software for smartphones, enabling users to listen to sound frequencies beyond the normal human range. Up to December 2015, over 3,000 people have downloaded the ″Hunt for the New Forest Cicada app″ without success in Britain, although the app has recorded the insect in Slovenia. In May 2016, 100 unmanned stationary computer chips will be installed throughout the New Forest.
Between 1941 and 1961 C. montana also disappeared, so their current absence may be part of a cycle.